ESRI 2007 International Users Conference
Also occurring last week was the 2007 ESRI International Users’ conference. I’m am not sure if it is true, but I heard that the event in San Diego is one of the largest single software meetings in the world with almost 14,000 people gathering in an atmosphere of fun and learning. As always I had a chance to meet with many of you and discuss your work, and you had the opportunity to experience a little of what I do when I’m not blogging. Thanks for sharing your work with me as well as your encouraging comments in person.
One GIS and CAD interoperability technology development that was unveiled during the conference was the description and demonstration of enhancements to the ArcGIS for AutoCAD application. Demonstrations included a new method of defining the coordinate system for a CAD file that is stored inside the AutoCAD drawings, and using that coordinate system information (projection information) to project ArcGIS Map Services on-the-fly for maps that may be maintained in a different coordinate system.
Also shown was a subtle but important new piece of GIS and CAD interoperability technology; a new AutoCAD-based feature class data encoding technique and specification. The new specification doesn’t require any add-on Autodesk or ESRI software inside AutoCAD. It is based on the entity filter syntax of existing AutoCAD named selection sets and includes some simple text strings stored in AutoCAD ‘X’-records to denote the type and contents of a user defined CAD feature class. The resulting feature class definition functions like a definition query in ArcMap, but instead of being set by the GIS professional after she receives an AutoCAD drawing, I as the CAD user define the correct feature class definitions based on my knowledge of the CAD file and how it can best be understood in the GIS.